WHITES fans got the chance to meet their heroes before taking part in a fun run around the newly named Macron stadium.

Families came to catch a glimpse of their favourite players who chatted with fans and signed autographs.

Manager Dougie Freeman joined in with the festivities by starting the fun run, which involved a one-mile loop around the stadium and onto the pitch.

It was arranged by Bolton Wanderers Community Trust.

Those who completed the run were offered free admission to the pre-season friendly game against Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem.

Ian Hutchinson, aged 35, travelled from Wigan with his six-year-old son Liam.

He said: “I’m from Bromley Cross originally so the whole family are big Bolton Wanderers fans despite not living here any more, so we couldn’t miss out on this.

“Liam was really excited to meet the players — he met Adam Bogdan who signed an autograph for him. Then we got to run around the stadium and on to the pitch. It’s been a great day.”

Emma Valentine, aged 30, her husband Anthony, aged 38, and children Marcus, aged six, and Max, aged one, said: “Marcus runs for the Bolton Harriers so he’s always doing fun runs with his dad.” Emma Gent, aged 41, from Lostock, came with her son Alistair, aged nine.

She said: “We mainly came for the fun run because it’s not often you get the chance to run on to a football pitch.”

The Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Martin Donaghy, handed out the medals to those who completed the run.

First place went to Jordan Kirkwood, aged 15, from Breightmet, followed by Danny Allman, aged 23, also from Breightmet, and Harry Lawson, aged 16, from Nottingham. He said: “My dad comes from Bolton so I’ve always been brought up to be a Wanderers fan even though I don’t live anywhere near here.”

A glitzy cocktail evening was held at the Bolton Whites Hotel to celebrate the re-naming. Guests enjoyed an Italian themed night, with entertain-ment from string quartet Storm.

Chairman Phil Gartside said he hoped the club’s new partnership with Macron would be just as positive as Whites’ 20-year partnership with Reebok.